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Measuring environmental change


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Living indicators
This is a method of accurately measuring how an environment is changing using the species available in that area
Indicator species
These are organisms that are very sensitive to changes in their environment that can be studied
Air pollution
This is monitored by looking at the type of lichen that grows in that area as lichen is very sensitive to the sulfur dioxide concentration in the air
Raw sewage release
This can cause the bacteria population in water to increase and use up the dissolved oxygen which causes mayfly larvae to die therefore they are a good indicator species for water pollution. if you find rate-tailed maggots or sludge worms then the water has very high amounts of pollution
Non-living factors
This is a method of accurately measuring how an environment is changing using things like satellites
Satellites
Scientists use this to measure the temperature of the sea surface and the amount of snow and ice cover. This is a modern accurate instrument giving us global coverage
Automatic weather stations
These tell us the atmospheric temperature at various locations, they contain thermometers that are sensitive and accurate - they can measure to a very small fraction of a degree
Rain gauges
These are used to find out how much the average rainfall changes year on year
Dissolved oxygen meters
This measured the concentration of dissolved oxygen in water, to discover how the levels of water pollution is changing